Duck Confit

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This recipe pre-dates my 5 Ingredients philosophy.

Duck Confit

From Stonesoup

Confit, is a process of slow cooking in oil or fat and was traditionally used as a method of preserving meat. The salting at the beginning enhances the preservation by removing some moisture and has the added bonus of seasoning the meat thoroughly. If you’re short of time, you could skip this step and just cook the juniper berries in with the fat but your legs won’t keep quite as long and you’ll need to remember to season them well before serving.

Duck confit makes an excellent mid week dinner party dish, as you can do all the hard work on the weekend and then the duck has time for the flavours to develop and then you just need to pop it in the oven while your enjoying your starter to warm and crisp up and it’s all good.

Serves 12
12 duck legs (marylands)
4T (40g) sea salt
12 juniper berries
1T black pepper
3 bunches thyme
1kg duck fat
olive oil, if required

1. Combine salt and juniper berries in a mortar & pestle and roughly crush berries. Stir through pepper. Scatter half the thyme and half the salt mix over the base of a large ceramic dish.

2. Place duck legs on top, skin side down and scatter over remaining salt. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

3. Warm duck fat in a large cast iron casserole dish until melted. Using paper towel wipe excess salt and moisture from the duck legs and pack tightly into the casserole dish, layering with additional thyme sprigs. If the fat isn’t enough to just cover the duck, top up with a little olive oil or better still extra duck fat if you happen to have it on hand.

4. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook over a very low heat, just a gently simmer for 2 ½ – 3 hours or until duck is very tender and the meat around the leg has exposed the bone. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate for up to a month.

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